Thursday, May 19, 2011

Power Days

In response to several questions I have received about my 'diet' and how I figure out what I need and when I need it to get the results I desire, I thought I would write a blog about what I do for ME. I want to stress that this is MY plan and it works for ME. When I write a plan for a client I write it for THEM specifically. I do not have a file that says 'beginner workout plan' or 'beginner meal plan'. Each one is so individualize. With each client, and myself, I take into consideration their height, weight, age, physical goals, physique goals, health goals and training goals. I have to know their training frequency, duration and intensity. Ideally I would have pictures and measurements. For myself I look in the mirror, see how my body is responding, where I am lean and where I might be storing a little fat and I adjust my diet accordingly. If my muscles are looking a little flat and my skin tone is a little dull I know that my carbs a bit low and I just pump them up a little. If I am feeling a little fluffy around my bra band area in my back or in my muffin top area, I cut back on my grains a bit.

Here is the basic plan I am using currently. My goal is to build lean muscle and improve my muscle strength. I am not hung up on the scale and concerned about 'weight loss' and as far as fat loss goes, that is a natural by product of my training and my diet. As long as I am not working on a 'bulking phase' and eating more calories for that purpose, I will be leaning out as my body composition changes. My current diet is approx. 1,500 - 1,700 calories. Two days a week it is closer to the 1,700. Two days it is around 1,600 and three days it is 1,500. For the type training and results I want for this phase, my macro nutrient split is 40% protein, 30% carbs and 30% fats. My protein are lean source proteins, eggs, fish, chicken breast, beef loin cuts, and pork loin cuts. My carb sources are leafy greens, broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, zucchini, spinach, asparagus, sweet potatoes, farro, quinoa, oats, apples, pears, kiwi, blueberries, strawberries, tomatoes. My fats are avocado, nuts, seeds, olive oil, flax seed, and the fats in the salmon and other lean meats I eat.

If I was currently training for a half marathon or a full, my macros would be different and my calorie intake would be different. During my 'running season', which is approaching, my splits look more like 30% protein, 35% carbs and 35% fats. And near the end of my training as my event approaches my calories will go up to 1,800 - 2,200.

Power. On the 28 day challenge I referred to Power, Rhythm and Flow days. On my power days I workout intensely using those huge muscle fibers in my thighs, glutes and hamstrings in compound movements and explosive action. Because those fibers are so huge (not fat, not the circumference of my thigh. . . they are long thick fibers), they use up lots of energy! So I get to eat a little high carbs on this day AFTER my workout. Why after? Because I don't want a ready source of fuel (energy) in my blood stream before my workout. I want my body to be working to make fuel using my stored glycogen and body fat.

On my power day I would make sure that the fruit that I eat that day happens before 2 in the afternoon. I workout at 5:30 pm. My afternoon snack would be something like boiled eggs (protein) or these egg quiche muffins I make that have broccoli and egg in them. Or a protein shake. I would save any fruit or grain type thing until after my workout on the ride home.

Power day menu and schedule for me:

Breakfast: 7:00
Oatmeal w/natural peanut butter and strawberries
egg + egg white
diced canadian bacon

Snack: 10:00
Coffee Protein Shake (1 scoop chocolate pp + instant coffee + water + splash coconut or almond milk)

Lunch: 12:30
Chicken Breast
Asian Cabbage Blend

Snack: 3:30
2 egg quiche muffins

5:40 - 7:00 Walking lunges, squat jumps, deadlifts, single leg squat w/row, hack squats, leg extension, leg curl, etc. Hit the legs, hit the legs, hit the legs again. I end with a round of sun salutations and warrior poses to really stretch out my legs and hips and to relax my body.

On the ride home I might have a handful of blueberries and a couple raw cashews.

7:45 Dinner (while I soak in a tub of epsom salt)
Grilled Tilipia
Sweet Potato

10:00 Casein protein shake

That is what a power day looks like for me. I love what I do. I love how I feel and I love the results I get. This works for me. I do not believe there is such a thing as a one size fits all program for eating or working out. I have developed what works for me through a life of experience and being very in tune with what my body needs from me. When my body is retaining fluid, it is incapable of releasing that fluid without me making the choice to provide the nutrients it needs to release those fluids. I also have to make the choice not to consume things that are high in sodium that cause my body to retain fluids. Retaining fluid is my body's signal to me that it has too much of something (sodium) or not enough of something (potassium).

I seek to be a friend of my body and not blame it, shame it, or punish it for the choices I have made. It deserves the best quality fuels I can provide, for the work I require it to do. We are a team. It needs me, I need it.

I will leave you will a little glimpse of my new 'enhanced' eyelashes.

These are so I don't have to wear mascara to the graduation and wedding! I had them put in last night. They are individual lashes glued in at my lash line.

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